In Brief

Published 1:26 pm Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jet slips off runway at Minn.-St. Paul airport

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Delta Air Lines jet slipped off the runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a snowstorm moves across the Twin Cities.

Metropolitan Airports Commission spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski says the plane had landed and was taxiing to the gate when its right main wheel slid into a grassy area about 7:20 p.m. Friday. No one was hurt.

Email newsletter signup

The plane from Atlanta was carrying 189 passengers.

Scovronski says airport crews laid down sand and dug out the jet’s wheel. It taxied to the gate about 8:30 p.m.

Then shortly after 9 p.m., a deicing truck clipped the wing of a Mesaba flight that was on a deicing pad awaiting departure to Knoxville, Tenn. Scovronski says that plane also made its way back to the gate and its 22 passengers deplaned.

Racial slurs spray-painted on Hastings homes


Hastings police are investigating after hate messages and racial slurs were spray-painted on some homes.

Police Chief Paul Schnell says although the graffiti includes slurs against blacks, none of the people living in the homes are black.

Schnell said the messages include “hate rules” and “hail Satan.”

He says a picture window was painted on one house while another had one side covered with a one-word slur.

Man dies 7 months after fight outside Minn. bar

BUFFALO (AP) — A former student body president at the University of North Dakota has died, seven months after a fight outside a bar in Minnesota.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office says 32-year-old Adam Baker died early Friday at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

Emmer, Minn. GOP weigh risks of election lawsuit

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — As a recount in the Minnesota governor’s race nears completion with no evidence that it will change the outcome, the Republican candidate and his party face a critical decision: whether to contest the result in court or step aside and let Democrat Mark Dayton take office.

A lawsuit from Tom Emmer offers one obvious benefit. It likely would keep GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty in office beyond his appointed term, giving the party more power when the state’s Legislature convenes next month under Republican control for the first time in decades. But some worry that it also risks damaging the party’s image if the lawsuit appears to be nothing more than a stalling maneuver to keep Dayton out.

Several influential Republicans are warning that unless new information emerges to question the integrity of the election, Emmer should concede soon to avoid hurting the party. It’s not an easy decision, especially in a polarized political environment where both sides had legal teams in place even before the election to prepare for a contested outcome.

“Unless there’s real solid evidence of malfeasance, you have to abide by the recount,” said Vin Weber, a Washington lobbyist and former Republican congressman from southwestern Minnesota. Weber, who was an early supporter of Emmer’s and helped legitimize the inexperienced state legislator’s candidacy, said he hasn’t seen any circumstances that would justify Emmer suing to overturn Dayton’s lead.

Charlie Weaver, executive director of the GOP-aligned Minnesota Business Partnership, a coalition of chief executives of large Minnesota employers, said many of Emmer’s donors in the business community wouldn’t support an extended challenge. Republican Norm Coleman’s lawsuit over the 2008 U.S. Senate result wound up costing both sides an estimated $10 million total in legal fees.

Minn. prosecutor finds no evidence of voter fraud

BRAINERD (AP) — A prosecutor in north-central Minnesota says he won’t file charges in a complaint that two disabled voters had their ballots filled out by a group home worker.

Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan says there’s no evidence the worker influenced the clients’ votes.

Ryan says the voters filled out their absentee ballots, and the worker merely darkened the ovals so scanning machines would read them.

A Brainerd man, Monty Jensen, filed the complaint over what he saw at the courthouse on Oct. 30.

Jensen earlier told the Brainerd Dispatch he believes what he saw crossed the line from proper assistance to manipulation of vulnerable adults. The ballots were cast for DFL candidates.

Woman sets fire, stabs self, leads chase

APPLE VALLEY (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a woman possibly distraught over the death of her son set her house on fire, stabbed herself with a screwdriver, then led officers on a chase.

Authorities in Apple Valley say they got a call Thursday morning about the woman pouring gasoline around the house. When officers arrived they found the house on fire and the 49-year-old woman locked in her car stabbing herself in the chest. The woman’s husband ran to a neighbor’s house.The woman drove away when officers approached. Police chased and caught up with her in neighboring Eagan.

Apple Valley Police Chief Scott Johnson said that the woman’s 22-year-old son was found dead in his bedroom Nov. 17. The cause of the man’s death is pending.

Emmer, lawyers gaze beyond recount in Minn. gov

ST. PAUL (AP) — Republican Tom Emmer laid down markers Friday as he considers suing over the Minnesota governor’s election now that it’s clear he will fall short to Democrat Mark Dayton in a recount.

As the manual review of 2.1 million ballots was wrapping up, Emmer didn’t come anywhere near making up a pre-recount deficit of 8,770 votes. Pending ballot challenges won’t fill the gap either even if they all break his way.

That puts the focus on what happens after the race is certified in two weeks. Emmer said he isn’t “currently planning” a lawsuit but he’s not ruling it out.

Emmer, a state legislator, said that before deciding a next move he wants to see the Supreme Court’s reasons for not forcing counties to match up polling place rosters to vote tallies before the recount. The court denied his emergency petition last month but hasn’t issued a full opinion. Republicans contend there are more votes than actual voters in some precincts.

Emmer also put weight on updates to a statewide voter database, which counties are supposed to complete by Dec. 15. Emmer told The Associated Press he wants to cross reference that data with records that could show if ineligible felons or noncitizens voted and whether people who voted absentee also cast a ballot in person.